Chest fridge

I have a chest fridge!! This is super exciting. Every since I read about frugal kiwi having a chest fridge I’ve wanted one so when we were renovating the laundry we rearranged the walls so that we’d have room. 
fridge_nz_eco
John and his cute cousins hanging out on the fridge. 
Firstly, what is a chest fridge? A chest fridge is basically a chest freezer that has been modified to run at a fridge temperature (ie 4 degress) rather than as a freezer (below 0). Our fridge is a stable 4 degrees now took a tiny bit of fiddling to get it here but we’re here!!

Why would you want a chest fridge over an upright fridge?

A chest fridge costs next to nothing to run (will get some figures out there when we have finished testing it –I’m told we need 10 days worth of test data – it’s great being married to an engineer). So it’s cheap to run but also cheap to buy/ make vs using a fridge of the same size. Our chest fridge is a 308L and cost us $430 to buy and modify whereas a similar sized upright fridge costs over $1500 oh and will cost more to run every year too.

How does it work?

Basically due to gravity; whenever you open the door of a fridge all the cold air falls out so when you close the door again the fridge has to regulate the fridge temperature back to 4 degrees (or whatever temp your fridge is set at). So when you open the door of your chest fridge there will be a slight temperature difference but since the cold air stays in the bottom of the fridge the thermostat doesn’t have to deal with such great fluctuations in temperature ie saving you money!

What to do:

I bought a good condition second hand chest freezer off trade me (this took a while as chest freezers are super popular and getting more expensive to buy also I could only buy one model that would fit in our space). Any chest freezer will do the trick just make sure the seals are in good condition.
Nuts and bolts: so we had our chest freezer and we bought a thermostat kit from jar car; you’ll need a little electronic knowhow to be able to assemble this kit. Mr Ecochick also bought a special box to contain the thermostat and a plug adaptor. You’ll need a soldiering iron to assemble this kit. I am told there are clear instructions with the kit but I wouldn’t try to do it so best find someone who can. Just a note the 10M positive feedback resistor created too much noise when the thermostat turned off so Mr Ecochick changed this to a 2.2M.
Our electrician neighbour told us you could also just take the thermostat out of an old fridge and add this to the freezer rather than buying the jar car kit so if you want you could do this instead (but don’t ask me how if anyone wants to know I can get Mr Ecochick to email you).
fridge_nz_eco
Inside my beautiful chest fridge. There’s not actually that much food in here at the moment; I must go shopping. Also now that we’re growing so much of our own food there aren’t many veggies that we buy so not many veggies will be stored in the fridge. I want to add a few extra baskets/ shelves in here for more storage no point in wasting all that beautiful space. 
I’ve had my chest fridge working for about 3 days now and I just love it – I keep opening the door to look inside and see all this space and beautiful white walls! Also great to know I can look in the fridge and not lose all the air inside! Frugal kiwi told me that food keeps a crazy long time in a chest fridge and also to clean out the whole chest fridge every two months as there is a water build up with the condensation so pull everything out and mop the bottom and wipe all the walls down to stop mould growing.

What are we doing about a freezer now?

Well I’d love to have a chest freezer as well (one day my garden will produce so much and I’ll be preserving so much food that I’ll need a chest freezer in the garage too) but for now we’re buying a super energy efficient upright freezer that will sit in the kitchen. So if you want milk at my house go to the laundry.
Check out how I organise my chest fridge and also what I keep in my whole food plant based chest fridge.
homestead_nz_eco

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.